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Quick Mineral Quiz

Last Updated: 21st Mar 2020

By Jolyon Ralph

Test your mineral knowledge with these fun questions designed for mineral collectors!

Try not to cheat!

1. Which of these minerals would you not expect to find associated with corundum?

2. What is Nantokite?

3. Which of these minerals was first reported (type locality) from the Tsumeb Mine, Namibia?

4. Select all minerals that contain essential platinum

5. Which of these minerals would you not expect to find in an evaporite deposit?

6. Which of these minerals do not contain essential molybdenum?

7. Which type of opal is the variety 'hyalite' predominantly composed of?

8. Cu2Al(AsO4)(OH)4 · 4H2O is the formula for which mineral?

9. What is Sierra de Cruces in Mexico most famed for mineralogically?

10. The Daybreak Mine in Washington state, USA, is famous for which mineral?

Article has been viewed at least 792 times.

Discuss this Article

20th Mar 2020 23:16 GMTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

good quiz, but (and sorry for the spoiler!), corundum+quartz is actually a stable assemblage (albeit relatively rare) in some UHT rocks. UHT and UHP rocks are among my favorites, since they're often quite colorful in thin section... :-)

21st Mar 2020 11:04 GMTJolyon Ralph Founder

Would you not say it was less expected though?

21st Mar 2020 11:38 GMTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

true, but the question doesn't say "less expected"... it says "not expected", and what is expected or not is relative to the rocks one looks at. Ironically, in those UHT rocks I mentioned, you might see, among other minerals, corundum, quartz, feldspar, and an aluminum silicate (maybe kyanite at high P, but more likely sillimanite), but you actually wouldn't expect to see calcite.

I get that I'm pointing out the "exception to the rule", but a simple re-wording of the question, "which one [only want the one best answer] of these minerals would you least likely [not precluded, just not often] expect to be associated in a rock [avoids Keith's "but I find both together in river gravels"] with corundum?" eliminates most if not all potential ambiguity.

Students, even those not in law school, love to argue exceptions and sometimes do so quite adeptly, especially when it comes to their grade. Close the loopholes, and evaporate their lawyering... :-)

21st Mar 2020 01:03 GMTTama Higuchi

Woohoo!  20% correct haha
If these questions are designed for mineral COLLECTORS and not geologists/mineralogists, then I'm in big trouble!

21st Mar 2020 03:35 GMTPaul Brandes Manager

10 out of 10!
Can't do much better than that, though I am noticing that the photo above cuts off the "10, 100%" part of the photo; any reason for that?

Very good quiz. I'm assuming these can be whipped together fairly easily/quickly?

21st Mar 2020 04:14 GMTRuss Rizzo Expert

6 out of 10...  guess I've learned a few things hanging around here.

21st Mar 2020 06:52 GMTKeith Compton Manager

I clearly have to read the questions properly and see words like Not and also realising that an answer may often include more than one correct answer!!

Never was good at on-line tests ... damn

And pursuant to Frank's comment, every time I've found corundum in a stream it's always been associated with quartz pebbles!!

Thanks Jolyon ..... I think ))-:)

21st Mar 2020 10:18 GMTDavid Von Bargen Manager

No. 4
Codwellite should be Coldwellite

21st Mar 2020 11:55 GMTEddy Vervloet Expert

Cool! 5 in 10 here, few!
This reminds me of the old mindat quiz where you got ten photo's or so and a drop down menu with mineral names to match? That does not exist anymore I think?

21st Mar 2020 12:54 GMTDavid Von Bargen Manager

That has been gone a while. 

21st Mar 2020 14:46 GMTEddy Vervloet Expert

Shame, that was fun and educational!

21st Mar 2020 13:17 GMTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

Thinking about trying out my own quiz...

Question: is it possible to embed a Vimeo video in an article, or are only YouTube videos supported? I have all my videos in both formats, but the ads potentially plastered over YouTube videos (and the often weird suggestions offered at the end) seem counter-educational to me.

21st Mar 2020 14:05 GMTDavid Von Bargen Manager

One other option is to upload the video to mindat.

21st Mar 2020 14:22 GMTJolyon Ralph Founder

If vimeo allows embedding the way that youtube does then I can add support.

21st Mar 2020 16:59 GMTBranko Rieck Expert

Would it not be better to upload to Mindat in any case?



21st Mar 2020 22:44 GMTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

Vimeo does allow embedding, although the individual video owner can disallow it, either on a per video basis or for everything. I've mostly disallowed it (except for my own website), because for years I'd been periodically finding my videos hosted on other sites, mostly non-geology ones, including sites where you could "buy the download"(???), and some where my browser was warning me the website was "dangerous". So at that point, although I kept all my previously uploaded ad-obnoxious YouTube videos, I disabled embedding on YouTube and duplicated everything to Vimeo, which offer more control. However, I can make specific videos of particular educational value universally embeddable.

Here's an example of Vimeo's embed code for one video I'd been envisioning some optical mineralogy questions for:

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/351491633" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen></iframe>

and the code I use on my website is nearly identical:

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/351491633?playsinline=0" align="center" width="177" height="100" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

Perhaps these snippets of code will open up the possibility of embedding Vimeo videos, which are ad-free by the way, so more professional looking, in my opinion.

In lieu of embedding, of course direct linking always works (in this case, the link is simply 
https://vimeo.com/351491633 ), but as you noted in a comment on another thread, it can be distracting to navigate away from where you're at to have to go somewhere else, and then come back.

21st Mar 2020 23:18 GMTJolyon Ralph Founder

We now support vimeo. Unfortunately the video you linked to (your own I assume) doesn't embed because of its privacy settings, but others work.

22nd Mar 2020 01:16 GMTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

oops... I forgot to change the settings, but I fixed it (I think), should that video should work now.

is the code simply the Vimeo video link between <vid> tags?

22nd Mar 2020 02:39 GMTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

OK, I put together a short test quiz just based on a video of a single optic figure.  If you haven't had an optical mineralogy class before, this quiz might not be much fun (but the figure is pretty).  But my intent was just for me to try out the code... eventually I can put together something that covers a greater range of skill levels:

22nd Mar 2020 05:16 GMTKeith Compton Manager


I clearly know nothing about optical mineralogy (but I already knew that) and the test proved it 1/6 ...  ))-:)

Never had an optical mineralogy class, but your test was fun !! 

I guess my understanding of optical mineralogy is if I like what I see .... it''s good !!!

But well done on creating the little test.

22nd Mar 2020 06:27 GMTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

Keith, glad you enjoyed the quiz, even if mum won't be taping it to the refrigerator door... ;-) I just intended this as a "test" test to get used to the coding (which was easy), and get used to writing an article-style post (it was my first). That particular video was always one of my favorites due to its striking effects, so figured I'd start with that as the basis. But the test wasn't really intended for someone who'd never looked down a petrographic microscope before.

But that said, with a bit of thought, an accessible optical mineral short-course could be put together that would see you and others who haven't looked down a petrographic microscope get a 6/6 in short order. The concepts aren't especially difficult; it's simply that they're just not familiar if one hasn't be exposed to them before, and of course the jargon is new as well.

21st Mar 2020 16:05 GMTGregg Little

Four out of ten and two were guesses.  Interesting results for a career geologist and mineral collector since the early seventies.  Hopefully everyone will have fun with their own results (no matter how dismal) and be spurred on to better understanding and appreciation of the hobby in, and passion for minerals.

21st Mar 2020 23:46 GMTDebbie Woolf Manager

4.5 because I got one of the platinum minerals :D

22nd Mar 2020 04:06 GMTDan Polhemus

Frank -

My son, a geology and geophysics major at the University of Hawaii, drilled your optical test with a 100% score in about 3 minutes. I had no idea what he was rambling on about as he went through your questions, but he clearly understood exactly what your video was telling him.

You should post a few more of these when you get the chance.

22nd Mar 2020 06:31 GMTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

Thanks Dan... and congrats to your son as well... not sure all my petrology students would have gotten a perfect score, so kudos to him! Also heartening to hear UofHawai'i hasn't mothballed their petrography labs, as many unis have over the last decade or so.
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